Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
A flooded Gaza tunnel.

Seven Arab tunnel diggers were rescued by a search operation in Rafah city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip Thursday, after Egyptian authorities had flooded a tunnel where they were working, Ma’an reported, citing Hamas security sources. Gazan authorities are searching for one worker who is believed to be still stuck inside the tunnel.

The tunnel was flooded by Egyptian authorities who pumped seawater into it. Last month, according to Ma’an, the Egyptians destroyed another tunnel in the same manner, but no injuries were reported.

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Gaza Arabs have always relied on underground smuggling tunnels across the Egyptian border, but since the 2007 Hamas takeover of the Strip, when Israel imposed a military blockade on Gaza, they became a vital source of supplies, both civilian and military.

Since the ousting of the Muslim Brothers regime in Egypt, the new masters of the Nile have made a point of destroying and flooding hundreds of the tunnels as a security measure in the northern Sinai against Islamist terrorists who attack Egyptian police and military personnel there. The fact that Hamas, whom Egypt considers a collaborator with the previous regime, also suffers in the process is a nice bonus.

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said last month that some of the tunnels are being flooded at Israel’s request, noting that Egyptian and Israeli ties are “better than ever.”

The UN reported in February that only a few tunnels remain partially operational between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.

29 COMMENTS

  1. The whole 'tunnel' thing is absurd. Egypt apparently has and it's inconceivable that Israel has not, the ability to detect and mitigate this nuisance. If Israel is 'caught off-guard' again, it would have to be perceived as their own fault.

  2. "Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said last month that some of the tunnels are being flooded at Israel’s request, noting that Egyptian and Israeli ties are 'better than ever.'”

    While we can regard what the Egyptian gov't is doing as very helpful, you have to be an idiot to say, for public consumption, that Egypt-Israel ties are better than ever, knowing fully well that will only inflame the "Arab street" in Egypt. Most Egyptians detest Israel as much, if not more, than they detested Morsi (which got him tossed out). Making such statements publicly only makes al-Sissi's job more difficult. Better to quietly express appreciation to the Egyptian gov't than to piss off the populace. "Discretion is the better part of valor…"

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